Business community gets insight into major event opportunities

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Friday 12 May 2017

More than 120 members of Hamilton’s business community attended a successful Major Events Information Evening event at FMG Stadium Waikato last night.

Hamilton hosts two major international sporting events this year. On 20 June, the Chiefs will play the British & Irish Lions as part of the DHL New Zealand Lions Series. In November, the city hosts its first two international rugby league matches as part of Rugby League World Cup 2017 (Tonga vs Samoa on 4 November, New Zealand vs Tonga on 11 November). All the matches will be held at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Last night’s event (11 May) featured guest speakers Tawera Nikau, a former Kiwis international league player and Rugby League World Cup 2017 Ambassador, and Nigel Cass, New Zealand Rugby’s General Manager of Relationships, Planning and Operations. Both gave presentations on the respective events and how they will be delivered across the country, and the themes, logistics and benefits of those. Councillor Rob Pascoe, the city’s Sports Ambassador, and Major Events Director Chad Hooker spoke on behalf of Hamilton City Council.

The Council partnered Hamilton Waikato Tourism, Hamilton Central Business Association and Waikato Chamber of Commerce to present last night’s session, with the business community identified as key stakeholder for the sporting events.

“The business community is vital to the city when it comes to these big sporting fixtures,” Mr Hooker says. “We have always been keen to work with businesses to give them the right information and also ensure visitors enjoy the best ‘host city’ experience Hamilton can offer.”

Mr Hooker says with up to 20,000 fans travelling to support the British & Irish Lions, Hamilton’s retail and hospitality sectors can benefit.

“This is one of the biggest sporting events New Zealand will host, and with the Hamilton match scheduled between the Maori All Blacks game in Rotorua on 17 June, and the first Test against the All Blacks in Auckland on 24 June, we’re set for a captive audience of Lions fans coming through the city,” he says.

As for Rugby League World Cup 2017, the appearance of the Pacific Island teams in New Zealand – as well as the Kiwis – means a large contingent of the upper North Island’s Polynesian community is expected to converge on the city for the Hamilton matches.

Attendees at last night’s event were also presented with information relating to the Major Events Management Act.

The Act gives sponsors exclusive rights of association in return for their investment, and prevents businesses that aren’t sponsors from claiming association with the major event.

“Clean Zones” around stadia must be free of unauthorised advertising or any other promotional or sales activities. Businesses within the clean zone can support the event the same way any other business can - as long as they aren’t using protected words and emblems, or suggesting an association that doesn’t exist.  The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has developed guidance on clean zones specifically for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017, with detailed maps and timings. This guidance is available here.

The Act doesn’t prevent businesses from carrying on with business as usual.

Similar protections were in place for previous recent sporting events in New Zealand, and they had little impact on businesses who continued to trade as usual.

Mr Hooker says Hamilton businesses have adhered to the Major Events Management Act in recent years but he encouraged business owners and managers to review the material so they were aware of their responsibilities and restrictions. The Council has a role in enforcing the Act during the events.

Click here for more information on the Major Events Management Act and what it may mean for business.

For more on the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017, visit www.nzlionsseries2017.com

For more on Rugby League World Cup 2017, visit www.rlwc2017.com

For information on Hamilton’s delivery of DHL New Zealand Lions Series, visit www.hamiltonhostcity.co.nz

Page reviewed: 18 Aug 2017 2:13pm